Packard Box Truck

1916 Packard Model E 2.5-Ton C-Cab Box Truck

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 3, 2021

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Packard was one of America’s grandest automobiles around the start of WWI. But they were also producing some pretty heavy-duty commercial vehicles at that time as well. We’ve actually featured a 3-ton variant of the Model E in the past, but this earlier 2.5-ton variant features a C-cab design.

Power is from an 8.6-liter inline-six good for about 60 horsepower. This truck was built in 1916 – the first year for shaft drive after Packard ditched its drive chains. This thing is pretty massive and sports a cool period-style corn starch livery.

Old commercial vehicles are always a treat as their survival rates are dismal at best. This one is coming out of a Packard-focused museum and will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $30,800.

1916 Cole

1916 Cole 8-50 Tuxedo Roadster

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | Online

Photo – Bring a Trailer

The Indianapolis-based Cole Motor Car Company existed between 1909 and 1925. Their claim to fame is that they were an early adopter of the V8 engine, which was actually introduced with this model, 1916’s 8-50 (which was more or less identical to 1917’s Series 860).

A handful of body styles were offered, including this three-seat roadster. That’s right, three seats. It’s practically a McLaren F1, except that the driver and front-passenger seats are split apart, with a narrow pathway to the rear bench that has a backrest for someone to sit in the middle.

The V8 engine, curiously, was actually produced by a then-division of General Motors. It’s a 5.7-liter V8 and it was made by Northway. The factory rating was 39 horsepower. This car is listed as a project, but the seller (the Indy Motor Speedway Museum) has a video of it driving around. Bidding is up to $8,500 at the time of this writing, and the car will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $22,750.

Overland Model 83

1916 Overland Model 83 Tourer

Offered by H&H Auctioneers | Duxford, U.K. | October 14, 2020

Photo – H&H Auctioneers

John Willys bought Overland in 1908, with the company fully merging to become Willys-Overland in 1912. But the Overland marque remained separate from Willys, which didn’t actually start producing cars until 1915. Overland, which sold its first car in 1903, continued on as its own marque until 1926.

The auction catalog lists this as a 1915 Willys Model 83, but Willys never made a Model 83. Overland, however, did. And they did so in 1916. The Model 83 is powered by a 35-horsepower inline-four and rides on a 106″ wheelbase.

It was the nicer of the two Overland models for 1916 and was offered in quite a few different body styles, including the $750-when-new five-passenger touring. It is now expected to fetch between $9,000-$11,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $13,367.

Owen Magnetic Touring

1916 Owen Magnetic Model O-36 Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The Owen Magnetic was a technical marvel of its day. Designed by engineer Justus B. Entz and produced by Raymond and Ralph Owen beginning in 1915, the car was famous for using an early series electric hybrid drivetrain.

Basically, the 34 horsepower straight-six powered a generator that turned the driveshaft, and in turn, the rear wheels. Speed was controlled by a selector on the steering wheel. It’s a pretty complicated set up, which made the cars super expensive when new. This one, for instance, would’ve cost $3,750. And it was the cheapest one you could get.

Between 1916 and 1919, the Owen Magnetic was actually built by the people behind the Rauch & Lang as well as the Baker Electric cars. It outlasted them, but ultimately folded in 1921, and the last two years’ worth of production were all headed overseas. This rare example should bring between $80,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $128,800.

Paige Ardmore

1916 Paige Model 6-46 Ardmore Roadster

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2019

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Paige-Detroit was a short-lived car company that sold what was essentially a crap-box car. So much so that the owner rebranded the company to “Paige” after two years. Ultimately the company merged into Graham Brothers in 1927.

Paige is interesting because, from the outset, they gave their models names. They all had boring “model names” much like other manufacturers (this car is a Model 6-46) but the body styles had fancy names like Brunswick Touring, Westbrook Runabout, and Dartmore Raceabout. This is an Ardmore Roadster.

It’s got a 29 horsepower straight-six engine and looks to be quite nice. It is selling in Scottsdale at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson.

Update: Sold $16,500.

1916 Buick Truck

1916 Buick D-4 Express Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Whaaat? That’s right, Buick once built trucks. And not like a Buick Rendezvous pseudo-SUV thing. Like real trucks. Between 1910 and 1918 the company’s passenger car chassis were used for commercial vehicles. It happened again in 1922 and 1923. Oldsmobile had similar offerings.

This is a D-4 Express and it’s powered by a straight-four engine. Apparently, with the exception of a repaint in 1951, the truck is entirely original, which is pretty amazing. Commercial vehicles were meant to be used and used hard. This one somehow survived without being completely worn out.

Trucks like this, even from Buick, were popular during WWI. This one was initially used as a service department truck for a Buick dealership in Indiana. Only one other example is thought to exist and this one should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $30,800.

The Qantas Flyer

1916 Talbot 4CY 15/20

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | May 20, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

In 1916, Talbot had yet to be taken over by Darracq (which would happen in 1918). In fact, production pretty much wound up by 1916 because of WWI and wouldn’t really restart until 1919, making this car among the last built before their wartime hiatus.

While it may have been one of the last built, it was at the same time a first: this car was the first automobile ever purchased by Qantas, the Australian airline. The 4CY is powered by a 2.6-liter straight-four making 38 horsepower. That’s enough to get it to 55 mph. Qantas’ purpose for this vehicle was that it was to be used as a recovery vehicle for downed aircraft, making jaunts into the Outback in order to rescue crew.

This car was discovered in the 1990s at one of Qantas’ “original sites.” It was restored in 2001 by its new Scottish owner and given a new body in the style of a “balloon car” – one that was used to rescue stranded hot air balloonists instead of airline crew. Since then, it’s covered nearly 10,000 miles in rallies and historic motoring events. It should sell for between $42,500-$52,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Roamer Roadster

1916 Roamer Six Roadster

Offered by Osenat | Obenheim, France | May 1, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Roamer has an interesting backstory. The New York distributor of the Rauch & Lang electric car (Cloyd Kenworthy) wanted a gasoline car to sell because electrics weren’t as popular as they had once been. He teamed up with a designer (Karl Martin) and Albert Barley, the owner of the Halladay marque. They called their new car “Roamer,” named after a popular race horse. On a related note, “Seabiscuit” is not a great name for a car.

Roamers went on sale in 1916 – making this a launch-year model (though I can’t find a record of a two-door Roadster being available that year). It’s powered by a 23 horsepower, 5.0-liter Continental straight-six. It’s looks are sportier than its actual performance. Some people referred to them as the “Poor Man’s Rolls-Royce.” They certainly looked the part, but were just a lot cheaper. I like Roamers – they are very Gatsby-esque.

This car has done a lot of travelling, as it was delivered new to Australia, later imported to Uruguay, and then to Italy. Not to mention it was built in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The final Roamers were sold in 1930 and they aren’t particularly well-remembered today, though their designs have held up well. This one should bring between $58,000-$80,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Five Final Cars from RM in Hershey

1911 National Model 40 Speedway Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The 1911 National was offered as a single model – the Model 40. The Speedway Roadster was the smallest and most affordable style. Its name is a reference to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – a nearby motoring landmark, as National was based in Indianapolis. In fact, Arthur Newby, who founded National, also co-founded the Speedway – and 1911 was the inaugural year of the Indy 500.

This car is powered by a 40 horsepower 7.3-liter straight-four. National won the 1912 Indy 500 with a car closely resembling this one. Discovered in Atlanta in the 1950s, this car has been restored twice, the most recent of which was in the last 10 years. It should bring between $200,000-$275,000. Click here for more info.

Update: $385,000.


1914 Case Demonstrator Delivery Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Case automobile was produced by the same company that made agricultural equipment in Racine, Wisconsin, between 1911 and 1927. The 1914 Case Model 35 was only offered as a five-passenger touring car. This is obviously not one of those. John Dorton was an inventor and salesman from Kansas. He invented the Human Eye Auto Lamp, a kind of headlight that steers with the car. This was his demonstrator vehicle.

It’s fitted with a bunch of other one-off features including a steam organ that could be operated from the driver’s seat. It’s a really interesting one-of-a-kind truck and is powered by a 35 horsepower 5.1-liter straight-four. It should sell for between $75,000-$125,000. Click here for more info. It’s really worth checking out.

Update: Sold $47,000.


1912 Mitchell Model 5-6 Baby Six Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Like Case, Mitchell was also from Racine, Wisconsin. The company was founded as a wagon maker by Henry Mitchell and his son-in-law (William Lewis) would help steer the company toward automobile production in 1903. Mitchell would produce cars for the next 20 years.

The 1912 catalog offered five modes, with the Model 5-6 Baby Six as the second most powerful. The engine is a 6.0-liter straight-four making almost 34 horsepower. The Roadster was one of two body styles offered and this one is mostly original (although it had been repainted). It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1916 Republic Beer Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Microbreweries are everywhere these days. If one of them were looking for an absolutely great promotional vehicle, this would be that. This is an all-original truck from the Republic Motor Truck Company of Alma, Michigan. They built trucks from about 1913 through 1929 (at which point they merged with American-LaFrance).

The engine in this beast is a 3.6-liter Continental straight-four. The truck has not run in a long time so it would require a pretty hefty mechanical overhaul to be usable. And those solid rubber tries are probably older than just about anybody reading this. Which is pretty amazing. This is one of two known 1916 Republics to survive and this one should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $19,800.


1905 Thomas Flyer Model 25 Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 201

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

We featured another Thomas Flyer a week or two ago and here is another one from the same collection. While that other car was constructed using various Thomas parts, this car is considered to be “the most authentic 1905 Thomas.”

It has been restored – many years ago – and driven quite a bit since. It has resided it some large collections over the years – but not the Harrah Collection, although it is said that this is a car Harrah tried to get his hands on for years. The Model 25 is powered by a 40 horsepower 7.1-liter straight-four. This would be a great classic to own. The estimate is a wide $375,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s awesome lineup.

Update: Sold $220,000.

Republic Truck

1916 Republic Beer Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Microbreweries are everywhere these days. If one of them were looking for an absolutely great promotional vehicle, this would be that. This is an all-original truck from the Republic Motor Truck Company of Alma, Michigan. They built trucks from about 1913 through 1929 (at which point they merged with American-LaFrance).

The engine in this beast is a 3.6-liter Continental straight-four. The truck has not run in a long time so it would require a pretty hefty mechanical overhaul to be usable. And those solid rubber tries are probably older than just about anybody reading this. Which is pretty amazing. This is one of two known 1916 Republics to survive and this one should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $19,800.